Oil contamination of machine partsOil contamination is by far the greatest cause of poor reliability in oil filled systems. Conventional oil analysis uses Particle Counting to monitor contamination. However, the majority of contaminants in used oil are oil oxidation products and depleted additives. These are mostly sub-micron, so they are not recognised by conventional oil analysis. Furthermore, they are not removed by conventional filtration.

If left in your machine, oil oxidation products and depleted additives will create layers (varnish) on internal surfaces, including pipework, valves, bearings, pumps etc. Over time varnish reduces clearances and also traps hard particles (the sandpaper effect) resulting in high friction, wear and ultimately plant failure.

The Solution

  • Use oil analysis that recognises all insoluble contaminants. These include the Membrane Patch Test and Varnish Potential Test.
  • Ensure a good relationship between the oil and the machine. This will help prevent premature oil ageing. PXN and DGA tests can help identify this. /li>
  • Minimise oil temperature (oil ageing rate doubles for every 8?C above 45?C
  • Reduce catalysts such as wear metals
  • Reduce moisture
  • Understand the behaviour of oxidation products throughout your system.
  • Monitor anti-oxidants – these are the oil’s protection mechanism against ageing. Monitoring gives the opportunity to proactively replenish.
  • Employ filter technologies that remove oil oxidation products without damaging the oil. The KLEENTEK Electrostatic Oil Cleaner (EOC) removes all insoluble contaminants from the oil regardless of their size or nature. The ‘super clean’ oil then gradually attracts the existing deposits away from the internal surfaces, thus returning machine clearances to their initial specification.

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